Published by Royal Academy of Arts. Text by Anne Lyles, Matthew Hargraves.
One of Britain’s greatest landscape painters, John Constable was brought up in Dedham Vale, the valley of the River Stour in Suffolk. The eldest son of a wealthy mill owner, he entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1800 at the age of 24, and thereafter committed himself to painting nature out of doors. His “six-footers,” such as The Hay Wain and The Leaping Horse, were designed to promote landscape as a subject and to stand out in the Academy’s Annual Exhibition. Despite this, he sold few paintings in his lifetime and was elected a Royal Academician late in his career. With texts by leading authorities on the artist, this handsome book looks at the freedom of Constable’s late works and records his enormous contribution to the English landscape tradition. John Constable (1776–1837) is one of Britain’s best-known artists, and is often considered one of the greatest landscape painters of all time. He was born near the River Stour in Suffolk, an area the artist depicted so frequently that it is referred to as “Constable country.” Pastoral scenes were unfashionable at the time and Constable struggled to establish himself as a painter. He was finally elected a Royal Academician in 1829, and in 1832, he exhibited The Opening of Waterloo Bridge—an effort 13 years in the making—at the Summer Exhibition.
Published by Royal Academy of Arts. By Richard Humphreys.
Each year between 1819 and 1825, English painter John Constable (1776–1837) submitted a monumental canvas to the Royal Academy of Arts in London for display in the Summer Exhibition. These so-called “six-footers” captured the life of the River Stour in Suffolk, where Constable grew up and where he returned to paint each summer. “The Leaping Horse,” the last of these canvases, now a major work in the Academy’s permanent collection, is the subject of this authoritative new book from author Richard Humphreys. In a beautifully illustrated guide to a key painting in one of the best-known series in British art, Humphreys explores Constable’s working methods and his struggle to gain appreciation within the art establishment of the early 19th century. With reproductions of preliminary sketches and new photography of the original work, this book is the ideal companion for those seeking a deeper appreciation of Constable’s iconic depictions of the English countryside.